Today’s announcement states the government will increase medical school places in England by 25% (1,500) from 2018. However, figures published earlier this year show that between 2013 and 2015 the number of vacancies for doctors in the UK increased by 60% (to 4,669), while the increase for nurses was 50% (to 18,714). This recruitment problem is predicted to get worse due to increased difficulties in attracting foreign doctors to the NHS post-Brexit.
Mr Hunt’s plans would increase the number of training places for doctors from 2018. As medical degrees take several years to complete it would be 2024, some 5 years after Britain is expected to leave the EU, before these extra doctors began treating patients.
Tom Blenkinsop said:
“This announcement doesn’t come close to solving the recruitment crisis in our NHS, which has got dramatically worse under this Tory government.
“Demands on our NHS are growing and the Tories have shown themselves to be incompetent in coping with increased staffing levels required. Their failure to recruit enough nurses has already meant hospitals rely on expensive agency staff, which has contributed to the financial predicament the NHS is in.
“Patients across England are already starting to feel the effects of this government’s failure. In my constituency, last month it was announced Hemlington Medical Centre would be closing due to an inability to recruit a GP to run the service.
“Our NHS is struggling with recruitment and finances. It’s an emergency and the Tories aren’t dealing with it”.